Alright, I feel like absolute shit. Sorry for being dead for a while.
So, the poll I had up on my profile ended up a three way tie, which is pretty impressive seeing as it had three options. So in the end I messaged a friend I have on FF (they wanted to remain anonymous, don't ask me why), and they chose this story for me to start.
Which is awesome, because this was the one I wanted to do originally.
Also, it has come to my attention that I leave a massive amount of A/Ns on basically every new chapter. I'm sorry about that, and I'll try to cut back on them.
So, without further ado, I present to you...
Pausing The Flow!
Disclaimer: Teen Titans is the property of DC, I think. Not like I research this shit.
It wasn't supposed to end like this.
He'd had countless plans, numerous strategies! Idea after idea, all orbiting the original problem that had cast a shadow over his life ever since he had met and joined the Doom Patrol! One that he was probably destined to face, ever since his parents went over that waterfall.
It wouldn't have been easy. No, nothing was ever easy these days. He knew that, everyone did. Sure, he wasn't renowned for his intelligence... or quick thinking... or thinking. But he still had a job to do. An obligation as a superhero. And he took those kinds of things seriously.
He had to. Because if he didn't, he wouldn't live to see tomorrow.
So why, after all the thinking, the planning, the carefully thought out counter-attacking, had it ended like this?
He'd had a team assembled. A rag-tag group of survivors, who had been seconds from walking away, and never looking back. Sure. He acknowledged that. He hadn't been much better at that point. He'd been caught in his own exploding chunk of the T-Ship, after all.
Soon enough, complications had arisen, as they were expected to. Ranging from that fact that Mas was more or less useless without his brother, to the fact that none of them actually knew what the fuck it was that Jericho could actually do. Panther was more manly than the other four put together, and Herald's weapon made him about look as though he were waiting for the bus to band-camp, rather than about to engage in an all out brawl between the forces of good and evil. Even so, there was no doubt left in any of their minds at that point.
They were the Teen Titans now.
The world was depending on them.
And they failed.
Their plan was simple. Storm the Brotherhood of Evil's base, take them by surprise, and free their friends. Maybe along the way, they would defeat any villain they came across, thus making their inevitable escape all the easier.
The first part had gone off without a hitch. Cinderblock, being about as graceful as a drunken rhinoceros, had easily fallen in battle against the teenage team. His memories had allowed them access to the hidden base of Beast Boy's greatest enemies, the place where their friends were being held captive, never to see the sunlight again.
All according to plan.
They had managed to sneak their way in, using the front door no less. Four of them posing as unconscious victims, the fifth safely hidden away, slowly guiding them towards what would be the greatest fight of their young lives.
All according to plan.
They had come across a small squad of guards, consisting of enemies that at least one of them had taken on at some point in time.
Not exactly according to plan, but a little detour never hurt anyone.
Defeating them with ease, the group of heroic children continued on their path, albeit no longer having anything to guide them. It seemed as though Mas' connection with Menos had been severed. Hopefully nothing bad had happened to the small Hispanic boy.
Well, nothing WORSE.
Hurrying along, the small group of improvised freedom fighters surged forward, wasting no time in both locating, and slamming their way right through to the heart of the base; the current location of the Brotherhood of Evil.
This was it.
It was all or nothing.
All according to plan.
Unfortunately for the heroes, it was also the exact moment that everything turned to shit.
The very second those massive doors were forced from their hinges, an explosion big enough to knock an entire building out of the ground was set off, right above their heads. Thankfully, Herald's quick thinking, and even quicker reflexes, allowed him to pull his horn from his belt. Throwing his head back to face the incoming shrapnel and debris, he blew for all he was worth, ripping a small hole in the space between his temporary team and the landslide of pain that was hauling ass right down towards them.
Effectively shielding his team, Herald had raised his horn again, this time aiming towards the massive crowd of evil-doers that had been situated in the center of the spacious room. With the amount of explosive force that had been behind that bomb, there was sure to be a lot of destruction. Maybe enough to turn the tables on the villainous organization.
Hopefully it wouldn't kill them.
Too bad he never got the chance to test the that theory.
Before he could let out his stored up breath, something that looked suspiciously like a small dagger was whistling through the air, cutting through the skin on his arm as though it were paper. Herald had hissed in pain, rotating his arm up as quickly as he could to avoid further injury.
None of them had realised how big a mistake he'd just made.
While definitely not a musical note, the small hiss of pain that Herald had emitted was easily picked up by the wondrous instrument that was still currently being held up to his mouth. Without a moments hesitation, the faithful trumpet emitted a small, pathetic squeak, opening up a hole in space, allowing the massive landslide of recently destroyed evil-villain-base to topple out of whatever pocket dimension it had been stored in.
Right on top of the captured and frozen Titans in the back of the room.
Almost comically, everybody in the room -hero and villain alike- had whipped their heads around in unison, just in time to watch as the giant tidal wave of ruined construction crashed down on top of their friends/captives.
They could hear more than one statue shattering.
Every single eye in the underground hide-out had simultaneously widened, before shouts of glee erupted from the jubilant crowd in the middle of the room, completely drowning out the cries of despair from four individuals.
Half of the entire Titan network had been wiped out. In a single, unintentional blow. And from a comrade, no less.
All according to plan.
Without warning, The Brain's metallic voice had cut right through the celebratory shouts of the many present baddies, ceasing them almost immediately. He was calling for one thing, the only thing he had ever desired after the incident that robbed him of his body.
He wanted the world in his hands...uh, jar. And he wanted all resistance crushed.
Time passed in a blur for all. In amongst the flurry of fists, weapons and various projectiles, every single combatant in the room knew what was happening.
This was no longer an organised assault against a tyrant and his lackeys.
This was desperate skirmish for survival.
One that the heroes were losing badly.
After a while, reinforcements had showed up, more than ready to turn the tables on the heinous quartet and their numerous henchmen. The battle began anew, the field being whittled down steadily on both sides.
It wouldn't change anything, though. The Brain always had his plans.
Both sides were hurting. With the loss of every captured Titan, along with every injury that had been inflicted upon them in the clash, the Titans knew that the battle would have to be ended soon, if they were to have a chance of winning.
The same could be said for the villains, with many of their unconscious bodies littering the battle-field. Those who were still standing were all sporting various bruises and cuts, if not limping from opponent to opponent.
Luckily for them, they had home field advantage.
Beast Boy had been charging from the last enemy he had just defeated, when something large and solid had collided with his side. Sent careening through the air, he had slammed into the harsh, unforgiving concrete that made up the walls.
Too bad he had been the fortunate one.
As Beast Boy had enjoyed his brief flight, the rest of the still-alive Titans had all been locked in their own combat. They ducked, weaved, punched, kicked and bit, doing all in their power to emerge victorious.
None of them had realised that they were all being shepherded, towards the middle of the giant room in which the massive conflict was currently being fought in.
With an almighty unanimous shove, every single hero had found themselves in a massive pile of each other's bodies, sprawled along the floor and all over one-another. As they struggled to leap back to their feet, they failed to realise that all of their opponents had already left, sprinting as far away from the middle of the room as their tired bodies could manage.
What they didn't fail to see, however, was the floor beneath them give way, milliseconds before an enormous explosion ripped the area around them to pieces.
All according to the Brotherhood's plan.
As the dust had settled, a single green figure against the wall let out a low groan, before planting both of his hands on the ground. Struggling to his feet, Beast Boy coughed lightly, shaking away the small amount of rubble which had taken up refuge in his hair.
He'd heard the explosion.
He'd felt the shock-wave.
And now, he could smell the burning flesh.
Slowly, Beast Boy looked up, his eyes hesitantly scanning the expansive room.
The fighting had stopped. 'Did we win?'
The smell was getting worse. 'What was that?'
The villains were all silent. None were talking, some were hardly daring to breathe. Even from all the way across the room, Beast Boy could see that all their eyes were on the dead center of the room.
The only place that Beast Boy hadn't yet surveyed.
Silently gulping, Beast Boy had shifted his gaze, following every else's wide eyed stares. Some of the villains were already breaking out of their trances. All that had seemed to be either cheering or laughing joyfully.
Beast Boy could feel his own eyes widen as he took in the scene before him. Blood, limbs, organs. All having been thrown haphazardly across the room by the devastating explosion.
A sudden shout had invaded his ears, cutting Beast Boy's concentration on the gnarled remains. Apparently, some of the villains had realised that he was still breathing.
They had intended to correct that.
Seeing the enemy forces begin charging right towards him, Beast Boy spared another quick glance around the room, before doing the only thing he could.
And he ran.
'Stupid stupid stupid stupid!'
Beast Boy couldn't tell how long he had been running. It could have been a minute, or an hour. The world was passing as a blur to the green cheetah's eyes, as his feet pounded against the ground underneath him.
He didn't know where he was going.
He just needed to go. To move.
To stay alive.
'Brain was right. Raven was right. Everyone was right!' The green cat berated himself yet again, slamming briefly into a wall as he took a sharp right turn. 'Why did I ever think I could lead a team? Why did I ever think it would be a good idea to put me in charge?! I failed them all, and now they're gone! I can't do anything right!'
Beast Boy took another sharp turn, barreling into yet another corridor. 'This place is a damn maze!' He thought to himself, sneaking a quick glance over his shoulder. There was nobody behind him. It seemed as though all who had decided to pursue him had either given up or fallen behind.
Satisfied for the moment, Beast Boy turned back, almost running headfirst into yet another wall. Digging his claws into the concrete floor as best he could, he sprang to the left, shooting down into another almost abandoned hallway like a bullet.
Wait, almost abandoned?
Up ahead of him, Beast Boy could make out what looked to be a massive spider with four legs, along with something that resembled a walking brick. A massive walking brick.
Thankfully for the green changeling, the two were facing the other way, allowing Beast Boy time to halt his advance. Digging his claws into the ground, Beast Boy tensed his muscles as hard as he could, applying as much pressure as he dared to his front paws. Gritting his teeth against the pain that his technique had just caused him, Beast Boy slid to a stop, a mere ten meters behind the villainous duo.
"Hey, moron." The spider like figure commented in a whiny, little girl voice, turning to look down upon his companion."Did you just hear somethin'?"
"The name's Mammoth, you midget." The telephone box answered gruffly, before stopping completely. "And now that you mention it, I did."
Together, the pair started to slowly turn around, almost as if they were trying to create an obvious air of tension.
Sparing a quick glance to his side, Beast Boy almost cheered when he saw a door, camouflaged in against the wall. Not wasting any time, the green cheetah began to shrink, wings and another pair of legs sprouting out of it's body. It's fur disappeared into thin air, whilst it's eyes grew and compounded. It's mouth began shrinking, it's teeth sinking back into it's gums. Within the blink of an eye, a green fly was standing where the deadly feline had been, barely a second prior.
Beast Boy dived for the door, squirming his way underneath and out the other side. Behind him, he could still hear Gizmo and Mammoth, slowly making their way down the corridor.
"You see that?" Gizmo inquired, his high voice directly behind the door.
"No." Mammoth replied curtly, his footsteps passing the door completely. "Let's keep moving. We gotta find him."
"What's got you so blunt today?" Gizmo whined, the various gears of his machinery creaking as his robotic legs carried him down the hallway, following after his partner.
"You kiddin'?" Mammoth asked. Judging from his voice, Beast Boy would have guessed that Mammoth had already turned the corner that he had come from. "Madame Rude! That lady is scary!"
"You mean 'Rouge', dumbass?"
"Yeah, whatever. Shut up and search."
From behind the door, Beast Boy heard the sound of retreating footsteps. Waiting for them to disappear completely, he buzzed back to the ground, only morphing back when he was sure they'd left. Collapsing against the wall, Beast Boy put a hand to his heart, willing it to calm down.
The last thing he needed to do now was lose control.
Satisfied that his blood pressure had returned to normal, Beast Boy's hand left his chest, coming to rest on the top of his head. Leaning his back against the wall, he felt his legs give out underneath him, causing him to slowly slide down to the ground. The pain from slamming against the wall was still there, if not made stronger by his desperate escape. It felt as though Monsieur Mallah had used his back as a trampoline.
What he wouldn't give for some of Raven's healing power right n-
Beast Boy felt his entire body go limp, the hand that had been inhabiting his hair falling mutely to the ground.
How could he have forgotten? He was alone now! No Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven! Along with every other member of the Titans! All of his friends, taken out within minutes of one another.
Something wet fell from Beast Boy's face, splashing down silently on top of his fingers. Beast Boy instinctively swiped a hand across his cheek, giving it a slightly confused look as he drew it back to examine it.
Water. There was water on his hand.
Curious, Beast Boy rubbed his cheek with his other hand, getting the same results as he had seconds ago. Staring dumbly down at his own hands, Beast Boy struggled for a second, trying to think through the turmoil that his mind was in.
...Crying! That's it, he was crying.
Beast Boy could feel his eyes widen, before his face contorted in disgust. Jumping to his feet, Beast Boy brought both of his sleeves to his face, furiously wiping the tears away.
How dare he cry? After he had gotten his friends killed? He didn't get the right to cry! Why should he? They never would again...
Beast Boy could feel more tears prickling at the corners of his eyes, though he refused to let them fall. He would mourn later. After he had gotten backup, and completely destroyed the Brotherhood of Evil.
Yeah, that sounded like a good idea at the moment.
Smirking viciously, Beast Boy reached out for the door handle. Before he could grab it, however, an aged voice sounded from further in to the semi-dark room.
"Impressive, boy. I expected to find you in a puddle of tears."
Beast Boy whirled around, his body instinctively lowering closer to the ground. There, leaning against one of the many crates that decorated the room, was a villain that Beast Boy hadn't seen in a while.
"What are you doing here?" Beast Boy hissed, his eyes never leaving the golden clad figure before him. Warp merely uncrossed his arms, regarding Beast Boy with what appeared to be a bored expression.
"Relax, child." Warp said dismissively, taking a seat on top of a smaller crate, closer to the center of the room. "I didn't come here to battle you, I came here to help you. Besides, what do you mean, 'What am I doing here?'. What are you doing here?"
"Don't change the subject, Old Man." Beast Boy growled, though he straightened up never-the-less. Biting back a sigh of relief, Beast Boy stretched his back, wincing slightly as it cracked.
"You're injured." It wasn't a question so much as a statement.
"None of your business." Beast Boy muttered, slouching back against the wall. "Now I want to know why you're not attacking me."
Warp rolled his eyes, before fixing Beast Boy with a cold glare. "Don't get ahead of yourself, child. I offer you my assistance purely because it benefits me greatly."
Warp snorted impolitely. "I doubt you would understand even if I told you."
Beast Boy was beginning to lose his patience. Not that he had had much at the start of the conversation. "Try me."
Warp bit out a scathing laugh, his mouth twisting into a condescending smirk. "Alright, have it your way. What do you know about time-travel?"
"Not much." Beast Boy shrugged. "I've never really been interested."
"In that case, I'll make this as simple as possible." Warp stated, reaching into his armour. Beast Boy could feel his muscles tensing, though he managed to calm down when Warp withdrew nothing other than his own empty hand.
"Must have left it at home...oh well." He muttered to himself, before turning around to face Beast Boy. "Alright, what about the flow of time?"
"You mean minutes and seconds?" Beast Boy inquired. At Warp's encouraging nod, Beast Boy simply added in, "nothing."
Warp let his shoulders sink in a crestfallen way, before he raised his head again. "No matter. Alright, the first thing you need to know is that the flow of time, or the 'time stream', is very much alive. It works constantly, making sure that all imperfections of the past are dealt with, in order to keep the universe stable."
"Whenever the past is tampered with, the future must also be altered in order to fit into the new context that has been laid out. Thus, every time I use my equipment, I must be careful not to do anything that would result in a major change. Otherwise, my entire existance could be wiped out in a second."
"Now is the important part, boy. When I went back in time in order to steal that clock, I failed. Correct?"
"Yeah, 'cos Star managed to-"
"Irrelevant." Warp interrupted, holding up a hand to silence the changeling. "Now, as I was saying. Think about this, boy. Where is that clock now?"
"Far as I know, it's exactly where you found it."
"Precisely!" Warp said sharply, snapping his fingers. "It is exactly where it was left. Now, answer me this. Why would I go back in time to a few months before now, in order to steal a clock that was destined to be taken, when I knew I would be met with resistance?"
"Uhhh..." Beast Boy mumbled, scratching his head. "Can you make the question...simpler?"
Warp groaned, slapping one hand to his forehead and dragging it down. "Alright. Let's put it this way. Why would I go back in time to a few months ago when there was a chance that I would be stopped, when I could have just taken it right after today?"
Beast Boy thought for a second, his hand rubbing back and forth across his chin. "Hmm...is it because you're a masochist?"
Warp coughed violently, almost falling off of his crate in the process. "Wha- no you fool! It's because I didn't know that today was going to happen!"
"Well, neither did I." Beast Boy supplied, his eyes slightly downcast.
"Yes, but which of us is the time traveler here?"
Beast Boy seemed to put some serious thought into his answer, as if he were afraid he would get it wrong.
"Precisely. And that I why I am willing to help you, in order to help myself."
"So wait..." Beast Boy began, finally finding something he understood about the conversation. "You're sayin' that-"
"That no-one should have died today, and as such something as large as losing the entire Titan network could quite possibly change absolutely everything, even bringing an end to my existence? Yes, I am."
"Dude..." Beast Boy muttered, watching as Warp climbed down from the crate and tapped something on his chest. A strange portal, identical to the one that Starfire had once disappeared through, opened up in front of the aged thief, who proceeded to examine it.
"Yes...good...that's off by a few seconds..." Warp mumbled to himself, tapping a few buttons on his arm. Apparently satisfied, he nodded once, before looking back towards the stunned green changeling beside the door.
"This portal will send you back to a time where you shall be safe from the time stream. Sometime earlier than the forming of the Titans, I'm afraid. But it's the best I can do."
Beast Boy snapped out of his trance, nodding dumbly and stepping towards the portal. Right before he was about to step through, however, he froze, turning to face the older man beside him.
"You're sure this thing is safe?" He inquired, willing his voice not to squeak.
Warp nodded, before looking down at his arm. "The nature of the time stream is that anything that does not belong will be terminated. Therefore, going back in time would normally result in instant death. However, with my technology you will be protected."
Beast Boy nodded, until another thought struck him. "What about the me who's in the past?"
Warp looked away briefly, before locking eyes with the shape-shifter. There was a hint of some kind of emotion in his eyes, something that Beast Boy could not identify. It looked like...remorse?
"I'm afraid that the time stream will still destroy something. Given that there is no need for more than one of a person to exist at any one time, one of you will disappear. And because of the protection my equipment provides, you shall be taking the place of your past self."
To Warp's surprise, Beast Boy merely nodded, before stepping into the portal. He continued moving forward, until Warp called back to him.
"Remember, boy. Make sure you remember the Titan's achievements. You will have to make sure they are replicated if you are to succeed in saving everyone." He refrained from using the term 'me'.
Beast Boy stuck his head back through the portal, silently giggling at the look of shock on the older thief's face.
"Dude, this is weird." Beast Boy commented to himself, before raising his voice, along with his head, in order to speak to Warp.
"I will, thanks."
"Don't bother thanking me, child." Warp said, planting a hand on Beast Boy's face and pushing him backwards and out of sight. Right before the portal closed behind him completely, Warp bent over, positioning his mouth right before the tiny opening that was still left over.
"Make sure you don't screw up!" He called in, only to be met with silence. Sighing lightly, Warp straightened up, before casting a long glance around the room.
"Good luck, child." He muttered to himself, before opening another portal. Stepping through, he could still be heard muttering, all the way until the portal closed behind him completely.
"Please don't screw up, please don't screw up, please don't-"
Beast Boy slowly opened his eyes, blearily blinking the sleep away. Craning his neck, he did his best to take in his surroundings. After all, he hadn't remembered falling asleep.
He was in a room. A room with concrete walls, a soft bed, and toys spread out across the ground.
He was in his room. His old room.
He'd made it to the past. Though, this was what his room had looked like when he was twelve...
A loud knock, courtesy of whoever was now standing behind the door, tore the air apart, immediately snapping Beast Boy out of his thoughts. He quickly sat up, a task made rather difficult by the dull throbbing pain that still lingered in his back. Brushing aside a small bit of rubble, which had been dislodged from his hair by his sudden movement, Beast Boy put on the brightest smile he could manage.
"Come in!" He called, almost wincing at the sound of his own voice. It was almost...strained.
"Garfield?" The person, who Beast Boy could now identify as female, called back. The door began to swing open, just as Beast Boy had thrown the covers off of himself, standing up in the process.
Standing in the doorway was the one person in the world that Beast Boy could have honestly said he was close to, before the Titans, that is.
Though technically, this was before the Titans...oh well.
Beast Boy turned, with his brilliant smile, ready to greet his surrogate mother good morning. He paused, however, when he caught the look on her face.
"Garfield?" Elasti-Girl asked hesitantly, "what happened to you?"
Confused, Beast Boy looked at his mother with a raised eyebrow, before throwing a glance at the mirror that hung from the closet door, near the corner of the room.
He could immediately see the problem.
The top of his head was still coated in a fine layer of rubble, occasional flecks of dirt falling away, only to mix with some of the blood that was running, up until this point unnoticed, down both sides of his face. His lip was cut and badly bruised, and he had a thin cut, which was slowly oozing out blood, running from his temple, all the way down to his neck.
How hadn't he noticed them before?
Turning back to Elasti-Girl, Beast Boy yelped, almost falling back in surprise at his surrogate mother's sudden close proximate. Elasti-Girl slowly reached a hand out, grabbing a hold of Beast Boy's cheek. Rotating his head around, she examined one of the wounds near his hairline, an unreadable expression on her face.
"Garfield..." Rita mumbled, releasing the green boy from her grasp. "What happened to you, and why do you look...older?"
Beast Boy froze, his mind lighting up with enough swear words to make a sailor drunkenly cheer. He had completely forgotten that he would have to explain what had happened to the Doom Patrol. After all, as inept as Mento was at anything besides his basic goals, even he would notice the youngest member of his team suddenly growing a couple of years older, overnight no less.
"Uh...surprise?" Beast Boy tried weakly, averting his eyes from his teammates unnerving stare. There was no screaming, no crying, no ordering people around. Beast Boy had to admit, Elasti-Girl was taking this incredibly well.
...Or, she was, until she nodded, her eyes rolling to the back of her head, and collapsed, on her face, on the ground beside Beast Boy's bed.
Beast Boy winced as Elasti-Girl's head made contact with the concrete floor of his room, before quickly swooping down to see if she was OK. Picking up her prone form – she wasn't as heavy as Beast Boy thought she was, though he would never, EVER say that to her face - he carefully lay her down on his bed, sighing in relief as she took a deep breath.
As least she wasn't dead.
Not like everyone el-
Beast Boy shook himself, doing his best to clear that thought from his head. 'Stop it!' He scolded himself, turning from the unconscious form of Elasti-Girl to glance at the mirror again. 'They're not dead, not right now. I've been given a chance to make things right, and I'm going to do it!'
Ignoring the fact that he was making a vow in his own head, much like some of the less-sane people in the world would have, Beast Boy dramatically raised one arm to the sky, almost gagging as the stench that had originated from his armpit hit his nose, finally being released to the world. Throwing another look at the mirror, Beast Boy made a quick decision, before going to search through the drawer on the opposite side of the room.
He could talk to the Doom Patrol later.
Right now, he really needed a shower.
And so, the prologue/first chapter of my new fic is born. Yes, the gimmick this time is time travel. Not something that I see in many Teen Titan fanfics, though the conventional 'Beast Boy gets kicked off the team, then gets powerful, then comes back years later' idea is overused, and I'll be honest, tarnished slightly with some of the poorer excuses for literature out there. I've seen and read a few good ones, but unfortunately the key word in that sentence is 'few'.
There's not really much else to say, other than I've been sick for the last week, which is the only reason that I have managed to get this new fic out to the people. Now, what I'm about to tell you will no doubt piss people off, but I've built up a reputation of not really giving a damn, so I'll get over it.
Don't expect an update any sooner than a few months away. The reason for this is I am giving myself some time to write, so that when I update, I actually have a schedule. None of this 'update every other month' bullshit that up until this point has been my plan. That's just annoying for everyone. Especially me. Seriously, I have to listen to everyone's bitching. It's not fun if it's aimed at you, after all.
Alright, I've said all that is necessary for now. I'll see you all in a few months or so with the next chapter! So, until then...